A pilot talks about a life in the clouds
12th February 2019
The beauty with the aviation industry is how many roles it covers and how much opportunity people have to move around the sector and explore different paths. Take Louise* for example – she started out in Air Traffic Control but moved into being a pilot, and has now been a Captain for 25 years. Here she tells us about her career so far.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Nothing is ever a typical day. Report can be any time Once at work I’m never there for less that 9.5 hours – a quick transatlantic is 7 hours, report is 1.5 hrs before and there is about an hour after. A more typical day at work is around 12 hours and the longest is 16. Report. Meet crew, flight and cabin. Brief. Go to aircraft. Prep aircraft. Board passengers. Fly. Land. Debrief. Obviously travel at either end is variable depending on start point.
How has your career progressed?
I was an Air Traffic Controller, and I had sponsored training which led to flying. I’ve spent the last 30 years with one company, 25 as Captain.
What do you love most about working in the aviation industry?
Travel. Meeting people. The mix of cognitive and physical skills.
What is one of your fondest memories from your aviation career?
First take off in a commercial airliners. My cheeks ached from grinning as we broke through the cloud at 16,000 feet.
What one piece of technology will have the most significant impact on the aviation industry?
Improvements in man / machine interface. Specifically improvements in auroflight programming.
What do you believe are the key challenges that need to be addressed within the sector you worked?
Fatigue. Down skulking in the training process. The expense of getting started means good people cannot gain access. I had sponsored training and was very lucky, but not everyone is.
What’s the greatest misconception people have about your job?
They assume we only press buttons and the plane does it all.
What advice would you give to someone looking to get into your job / sector?
Stay focussed. Work hard. Believe in yourself.
by William Finden
William Finden is the Founder and MD of Oaklands Global. He is a seasoned executive search and recruitment specialist with over 16 years of experience, dedicated to the international aviation & aerospace markets. William leads Oaklands Global’s C-Suite practice and has had a successful career delivering at the executive level for a diverse portfolio of clientele including Business Jet Operators, OEM’s, MRO’s, FBO’s Airlines and Rotary businesses. To learn more about how William can assist with your next career move or to discuss your next director level hire please contact him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In an age of change and constant innovation, we believe in sharing ideas and discussing a variety of trending topics around recruitment, aviation, aerospace & defence and investment banking. Please peruse our library of blogs and articles below
Bridging the Gap: Combating Middle Management Burnout Aviation Amidst the Skills Shortage
27th November 2023
In the dynamic and highly specialized field of aviation, middle management plays a pivotal role in ensuring safe and efficient operations. However, the industry is grappling with a skills shortage that is placing immense pressure on middle managers. This blog is aimed at aviation professionals at the director level and explores the critical issue of middle management burnout due to the scarcity of skilled candidates in the aviation industry.
Attracting quality applicants to your business
14th July 2023
Before we get ahead of ourselves, and you read this blog thinking what the heck is this guy talking about. Let me ask you a quick question. Has your business seen an increase or decrease in the quality or overall volume of candidates applying to job adverts over the last 12 months?
Is aviation finding it's mojo again?
3rd April 2023
Three years on from the start of the first UK lockdown and the end of the first quarter of 2023 seemed like a good time to reflect on the current state of the aviation industry and see if we can now confidently look to the future.